Renove – Where Newbies and Oldies Meet

Let us gather 130 people in the mountains of Madrid for one weekend! That was the “proposal” made by AEGEE-Madrid for a future event. At first glance this idea seemed unrealistic. How in the world could AEGEE-Madrid organise such event and for so many people? However, that is exactly what happened last October and the event turned out to be such a great success that it has been nominated for The AEGEEans Choice Awards 2012.


Photo courtesy of Guillermo Macía Diaz

The thoughts behind Renove

During the Network Meeting (NWM) in Granada some informal talks were made with some people from the Network Comission (NetCom) team regarding the lack of an event for AEGEE newbies who had just returned from a Summer University (SU) or who never got accepted to a SU. Then the idea came up to organise a massive event that would bring these people together with active members and “oldies” in a funny, team building oriented event. Thus, people who had attended a SU could meet their SU mates from the Network again and the boards had the opportunity to meet all their new members and try to engage them to become more active. Since AEGEE-Madrid knew the perfect place for such event (a hostel that previously had been used for NWM Madrid) it was easy to start with the organisation right away.

Why Renove?

Photo courtesy of Guillermo Macía Diaz

Now AEGEE-Madrid and friends knew where they were going for this event, next step was to build the concept of the event. Former president Antonio Velez of AEGEE-Madrid explains the process: “We involved as many experienced people from the Network as we could in the brainstorming process, but we had in mind that it had to include a team based competition, some light workshops and a lot of fun and parties to make this event attractive to the newbies. As one of the main objectives (and results) of this event was to activate new people in order to gain new board members, Maria Laglera (PR of SUCT 2011) suggested the name “Renove“, that in Spain is the name of a goverment program to replace old cars, and we all agreed.”


Game of Thrones

Photo courtesy of Alexandre Huynh

Some have seen the books, some have seen the television series, and some are still clueless when hearing the words “Game of Thrones”. These exact words in fact formed the setting of Renove. As it was expected to have a lot of participants (more than 150 people), the organisers had to divide the participants into teams for the competition with an unified theme for all the activities that also could be funny for the costume party. Antonio then came to think of “Game of Thrones” since there many “houses” in the books, creating the possibility of naming the teams the same names as the different houses. It gave the organisers a lot of possibilities for the presentation which they in the end performed as a little theatrical play, and there were used a broad creativity when the participants had to dress up as princesses (the guys) and prince (the girls).

Designing the T-shirts

Yellow team, green team, orange team, and the list goes on. The Renove participants were divided into numerous teams, requiring a lot of effort for creating the Renove t-shirt. T-shirt designing is apparently not the hardest task to overcome for an experienced t-shirt designer as Antonio; however what was difficult was to combine the incoming info with the teams.

Different team members together. Photo courtesy of Alexandre Huynh

Once all the teams were created, they had to collect all the t-shirt sizes and make the t-shirts according (more or less) with the colours of houses in the book. As if that was not enough, Antonio and the team encountered even more trouble when going to pick up the t-shirts on the first day of the event. There were mistakes in the sizes and colours leading to negotiation with the owner of the shop to get more t-shirt and another reorganization of the teams.

Renove 2.0

When asked if there is going to be a “Renove 2” the answer was a clear yes. It is believed to be a good “tool” for the Network to activate people, and it makes the newbies meet new people who are geographically near to them. “Maybe it is a little soon to evaluate the
results of this event, but some people who attended have become more active, such as Andres Monge, who attended this event as a newbie and now is one of the founders of the new AEGEE-Seville. Furthermore, we really enjoyed organising this event because we know the place, we have experience in these kind of events which again stresses the fact that there is no reason to say no to Renove 2. This event is a place for the people in the Network to have a good time with new and old friends, and in my opinion, friendship is one of the most important driving forces of AEGEE,”
Antonio tells by the end of the interview with The AEGEEan.


Judging by the friendships that have been formed in this event, the joy that can be seen in the numerous Renove pictures on Facebook, and the motivation a high number of the participants gained to be more active AEGEEans Renove was definitely a success. Hopefully “Renove 2” will be able to live up to the expectations!


Written by Patricia Anthony, AEGEE-København 

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